We are rapidly approaching my favorite time of year. Fall is my favorite season, but the months of November and December can't be beat. Listening to the radio on the way to work this morning, people were talking about the high school football playoffs kicking off tonight, and I couldn't believe that the regular season is over already. I'm not ready for the first snow storm of the year or the fact that it is taking us a little longer to get out the door in the mornings while we work on putting on socks, tying shoelaces, and layering with coats and hats. (Although Brandon really does look extra adorable all bundled up like an Eskimo). But I am ready for --
*Pulling out the Thanksgiving and Christmas picture books to read at bedtime... and spending an entire lunch hour at Barnes and Noble picking out one or two... or three new ones to add to our collection.
*Cheering on our Panthers through the playoffs.
*The first basketball game of the season.
*Turning on my Pandora Christmas playlist at work.
*Wrapping Christmas presents and anticipating my kids' faces on Christmas morning.
*Decking the halls of our home in twinkling lights, hanging our stockings with care, carefully placing the nativity scene, filling our tree with blue and silver Christmas ornaments, and lighting Christmas scented candles.
*Swapping out my fall scented Bath and Body Works Wallflowers with the smells of a Winter Wonderland.
*Taking the boys sledding for the first time.
*Finding the perfect Christmas lights display to drive through on a Friday night while letting the boys indulge in sippy cups filled with hot chocolate and a marshmallow or two.
*The annual Christmas celebration on Main St. Cedar Falls.
*Long weekends and holiday vacations from work.
*Hanging up our two Advent calendars and letting our boys celebrate counting down the days to Jesus' birth when they wake up every morning.
*Making Jesus' birthday cake on Christmas Eve - a tradition we started last year.
*Hearing Cody grumble about having to put up outdoor lights again... and then watching as he, too, gets into the holiday spirit. ;)
*Seeing our boys have fun with the Christmas train at Papa Bob's house. Jaden has such a good memory. He has told me in the last week that it's almost time for the "choo choo train" at Papa's house!
*Baking Christmas goodies.
*Hearing what Jaden asks Santa for when we place him on his lap at the mall.
*Watching Brandon experience it all for what will seem like the first time. He won't have any memory of last year.
*Singing "O Holy Night" at church -- my favorite Christmas song.
*Starbucks Holiday cups.
It may seem early to be talking about all of this, but the holiday season always seems to go by so fast once Halloween has come and gone. And part of the fun of it is the anticipation of it. (I will admit that I got really excited when I saw a commercial the other night for Kleenex... and it was centered around a Christmas tree). It is never too early to get in the spirit. :) So instead of focusing on the fact that it's getting colder outside and the nights are getting shorter, focus on the joy ahead. What are you looking forward to? What are some traditions that your family celebrates with every year?
Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. ~Larry Wilde
Tradition: sit with husband in a room lit only by tree lights and remember that our blessings outnumber the lights. Happy Christmas to all. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon